Chennai Super Kings were considered one of the best teams in the IPL until usurped by Mumbai Indians to the top spot. Having won the IPL three times, they had a disaster of a season in the 13th edition of the T20 league. The absence of stand-up players meant the team failed to make the playoffs, especially lack of intent in chasing totals left the fans dejected with their performances.
This year fans will be hoping for the franchise to return to the old ways of their glory days. With the availability of few star performers unlike last season, and some smart buys by the management in the recently concluded 2021 mini-auction. The team looks well set to get back into their winning ways. Especially having an experienced campaigner, the Indian legend MS Dhoni leading their side, many wouldn't bet against it.
Today we take a look at the 5 players who would be expected to lead with their performances to write their redemption story.
One of the most successful batsmen in the IPL, second to only Virat Kohli in most runs scored in their IPL career. Although he hasn't won the orange cap in any of his seasons, He has scored a total of 5368 runs from 193 matches in his IPL career. Exerting his impact for the side, there is no season the Indian batsman has scored less than 350 runs in a season.
He wasn't part of the last edition of the T20 league and also retired from all forms of international cricket. Apart from his batting, he is also a useful spin bowler who has bowled keeping a low economy of 7.38, someone who could help pitch in with some useful dot balls. It was very evident the team lacked Raina last season and considering his record for the team, it is obvious why.
The latest buy of the management who fit the role of an off-spinning all-rounder. The left-handed batsman is a good player of spin and hit any ball for a six on any given day. The English all-rounder can turn into an x-factor for the Chennai franchise this season. Although being part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore last season, Moeen Ali didn't get to play much.
Even then as a batsman he scores at a strike rate of 158.46 from 19 matches, including 10 wickets at an economy of 7.13 as a bowler. Although not get many opportunities in the recently concluded T20 series between India and England. Moeen Ali looks to be in good touch as seen in the last test match he played, picking up 8 wickets and a quickfire 43 of 18 balls, that included 5 sixes. Being under the right skipper, Moeen Ali will be looking to make an impact in the league.
The name on the team sheet, MS Dhoni symbolizes Chennai Super Kings. The former Indian skipper will once again lead the side hoping to get the team back to their winning ways. Over the years the wicketkeeper-batsman has been the backbone of the side, along with Raina, the pair has rescued the side from the most difficult situations. Possessing the will to accelerate at will, once again the team will be dependent on their captain.
Having the ability to destroy bowling attacks on his own, It's his sharpness and calmness on the field as a captain that often stands out. Scoring over 4632 runs from 204 matches, which includes 23 half-centuries, he will continue being an influential figure for the team. Having retired from international cricket, match practice might arise an issue. But if his batting in the nets is anything to go by, the Indian legend looks capable of bringing the fourth title home.
Excelling in every department of the game, Ravindra Jadeja is one of the most important players on the national side in all formats of the game. Saving the team multiple times from difficult circumstances, his years in the game proves he is one of the best all-rounders in the game. Jadeja has certainly improved all facets of his game and coming back from injury, he will be looking to make some big statements before the T20 world cup.
Having played 184 matches in his IPL career, he has scored about 2159 runs keeping a strike rate of 126.47 after coming lower down the order. He is a sensible batsman who can help build partnerships or boost the run rate with his attacking intent. He is also a canny merchant with the ball, who can go through his overs quickly before the batsman notices and break those crucial partnerships. As before, the Indian all-rounders look to be MS Dhoni’s go-to man in the upcoming season.
The West Indian has been a consistent match-winner throughout the years for the Chennai franchise. He is one of the most entertaining players of the shortest format, who bowls with that Caribbean swagger and portrays the west Indian flair while batting, hitting the ball to all sides of the park. Being a part of the core players of the team, the skipper’s strategies have always revolved around the West Indian all-rounder.
Being not able to play much, Bravo will be looking to make great strides this year. Just 10 runs short of 1500 runs in his IPL career, he is more than a capable batsman on his own. Adding to his slow ball yorkers, he remains very deadly with the ball in his hand. Having picked over 153 wickets in 140 matches keeping an economy of 8.40, he adds to another bowling option in the team. Being no slouch in the field either, Bravo would be keen to lend a helping hand to lift that trophy.
Some smart buys and trades have ensured that the team is covered in all positions with strong options. MS Dhoni would be keen to revise his strategies and figure new ways in finding success. Let us know if you think CSK would get back to their winning ways and who is going to be their stand-out player.